NLP Convenes NEFLI Participants

By Blesila P. Velasco

The Network of Emerging Filipino Library Innovators (NEFLI) is a 3-year program of the Public Libraries Division, National Library of the Philippines (NLP). It is a national level implementation of the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI), which is one of the sustainability outcomes of the INELI – Association of Southeast Asian Nations (INELI-ASEAN) Project. The INELI-ASEAN Project was managed by the NLP from 2015 to 2018 through a funding grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The NEFLI primarily engages public librarians in the country and other interested participants to leverage appropriate solutions that will enable public library leaders who share a common vision for economic, political and socio-cultural development, and integration, to strengthen capacities of public librarians in the country. It aims to enhance the leadership skills and create a vibrant network of emerging library leaders. More so, it builds capacity to provide ongoing leadership training and foster collaboration and strong partnership among stakeholders in the country. NEFLI has four (4) main activities which are expected outputs of the innovators:

  1. Self-Assessment and Self Development Plans – innovators will assess themselves on the following areas: group process, public presentations, trends in national and international public library services, innovation, change management, professional involvement, and others. Thereafter, they will identify activities, success indicators, and completion dates that will develop their skills on the above-mentioned areas, which will likewise improve the services of their libraries.
  2. Completion of ten (10) online learning modules – these modules will develop the innovators’ skills on Group Process or Working on Teams, Innovation, Managing Team Projects, Communication, Conflict Management, Time Management, Risk Management, Leadership, Service Quality Improvement, and Completing the Project.
  3. Networking meetings or annual convenings – these include workshops, library study visits, mentoring sessions, and time for socializing, with the aim of training the innovators to build mutual trust and encourage cooperation.
  4. Implementation of innovative services through collaborative projects - these projects will be developed by innovators with funding and administration support from their Sponsors and Institutional Partners. These can be implemented in the innovators’ libraries when the program concludes.

The 1st Convening of NEFLI was held at the Ramada Manila Central in Binondo, Manila, on May 27-30, 2018. The main objective was to bring together public librarians as innovators and other key players from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao for the orientation and discussion of deliverables and other important information of the project. Specific convening goals include: 1) to provide participants with the time and space to explore how to build and strengthen the network of public libraries in the country; 2) to familiarize the innovators on the online learning modules, self-development plans, and collaborative projects; 3) to clarify roles and functions of sponsors and mentors in undertaking NEFLI; 4) to establish partnership and to strengthen relationships with public library stakeholders; 5) to promote camaraderie among participants; and 6) to expose participants and delegates on various innovations in selected libraries in Metro Manila. It was participated in by 15 innovators, 2 Sponsors, and 5 mentors (who were previously INELI-ASEAN innovators), and 7 organizing team members. Two (2) innovators were unable to attend the 1st Convening due to personal reasons.

It was a 4-day of knowledge sharing, idea pitching, creative expression, and fun for Innovators! In this convening, innovators were able to log-in in the learning portal, come up with ideas for their collaborative projects, and learn from the inspirational sharing of Ms. Rosario Chua, City Librarian, Cebu City Public Library, regarding their 24/7 services, innovations, partnerships, collaborations, along with the library’s challenges and present status. Workshops and everyday reflection through journal writing were carried out all throughout the convening to strengthen innovators’ learning.



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